Le Chêne

Heart of Oak | Die Eiche – Mein Zuhause
Once upon a time, there was a 210-year-old oak tree: the pillar of its world and a guardian of nature’s balance. Like a hostel that is always open, it was visited by friends passing by, but also by treacherous parasites and ruthless predators. Two eminent nature-loving filmmakers, Laurent Charbonnier and Michel Seydoux, have joined forces to create this unusual and rather spectacular adventure film, which they shot for months in the verdant French region of Sologne. Not only is their lush production mesmerising, the co-directors have also directed a prestigious cast comprising squirrels, woodpeckers, barnacle lichen, jays, ants and field mice ... From its roots to its top, this majestic tree welcomes, feeds and protects this vibrant community, season after season. If a playful use of music provides unexpected humour, it is mostly nature itself that does the talking, with no voiceover to disturb the poetic harmony. If you let them grow, oak trees can live for over 500 years. And in some cases, up to a thousand. Any observant walker can be awestruck by these symbols of strength. Le Chêne adds thrills to this experience.
by Laurent Charbonnier, Michel Seydoux France 2021 Without dialogue,  French intertitles 80’ Colour Documentary form recommendation: 6 years and up

Crew

DirectorLaurent Charbonnier, Michel Seydoux
ScreenplayMichel Fessler, Michel Seydoux, from an idea by Laurent Charbonnier
CinematographyMathieu Giombini, Laurent Charbonnier, Samuel Guiton
EditingSylvie Lager
MusicCyrille Aufort, Original song by Tim Dup
SoundMartine Todisco, Samy Bardet, Philippe Penot, Marc Doisne
Production DesignDavid Faivre
Assistant DirectorJulien Le Roux
Production ManagerPhilippe Baisadouli
ProducersBarthélémy Fougea, Michel Seydoux
Executive ProducerMichel Seydoux
Co-ProducerSidonie Dumas
Co-ProductionGaumont, Neuilly-sur-Seine

Produced by

Camera One

Winds

World Sales

Gaumont

Laurent Charbonnier

The renowned and multi-award-winning animal film specialist turned to the moving image at an early stage after first gaining experience in stills photography. As a producer, director and cinematographer, he has made more than 60 documentaries over 30 years as well as being involved in the shooting of feature films. His film Les animaux amoureux (Animals in Love) was nominated for a César for Best Documentary Film.

Filmography (documentaries, selection)

2007 Les animaux amoureux (Animals in Love) 2019 Chambord 2021 Le Chêne (Heart of Oak)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022

Michel Seydoux

He began his career as assistant to the President of the Organisation Centrale des Camps et Activités de Jeunesse (OCCAJ). In 1971, he founded the Camera One feature film production company, of which he remains the owner. A former chairman of Air Littoral Holding, he was also chairman of LOSC Lille football club until 2017. He is currently a member of the Gaumont board and the Pathé management board. A producer and co-producer of numerous films, he is making his directing debut with Le Chêne.

Filmography

2021 Le Chêne (Heart of Oak)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022